Orchard School’s International Night included a performance of Irish dance.

A Whole New World

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Thursday November 19, 2015

The Orchard School gymnasium was transformed into a global village this fall for one of their favorite events, International Night. Held in October every other year and sponsored by the PTO, International Night is a chance for Orchard families to come together to celebrate their diverse and special community. Students and their families are encouraged to put together a country display based on their heritage or a favorite place they have traveled to or learned about. Children are then invited to pick up a passport that they fill with stamps from the tables they visit.

Countries represented this year include France, Mexico, Malaysia, Egypt, Germany, Romania, Australia, Korea, South Sudan, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Venezuela, India, Italy, Norway, Japan, and China. There were also displays for international coins and games from around the world. The country displays included photographs, maps, trinkets, and, of course, food. This year, attendees were treated to samples of Italian gelato, French cheese, and asida porridge from South Sudan, among many other delicious treats. A few brave souls even stopped by the Australia table to try Vegemite, a spread made from yeast products.

A favorite part of International Night is the entertainment. The crowd enjoyed performances by the McFadden Academy of Irish Dance, Blue Wave Taekwondo, and the drum team from the Green Mountain Korean Culture School. Each performance was unique and gave all in attendance a chance to see a form of entertainment they might not otherwise have had a chance to experience. The Irish dancers, who performed last, were gracious enough to teach a few steps to the students, a perfect conclusion to a lovely evening.

The Orchard School community is extremely proud of the many cultures represented among their families. International Night creates the opportunity to come together to celebrate a variety of rich backgrounds and interests and, in the process, learn from one another.

“International Night is a great way to showcase the diversity within our amazing Orchard community,” said PTO Co-President Tracey Higgins. “It is also a way to inspire our kids’ curiosity in cultures worldwide.”

The Orchard School PTO says they cannot wait to start planning for the next International Night in the fall of 2017.

By Merin Maxwell, Orchard School PTO co-vice president